We have a lot to be thankful for.
Our mom came to Canada from Scotland with her family back in the 1960s.
Our father escaped a communist country via Austria and then got on a boat in northern Germany to get to Canada with about $3 in his pocket.
They met each other in Palais Royale on Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto and the rest is history.
The odds of myself and Nick even existing, with that mother and father, are incredibly small.
We're literally lucky to be alive.
And then to meet our wives and have our own children...there are no words to express how thankful we are for everything. We're blessed.
My dad needed his dentures fixed so today we took a little trip to the denturist together (he's shy about his English).
And on the way back he stopped in the Rock Star office to "steal" about 50 Your Life. Your Terms. pens.
These things probably cost us about 35 cents each or something.
But to him those pens are a symbol.
He explained that he hands them out to his Croatian buddies at the coffee shops and Italian social clubs he visits and exclaims, "those pens are from my two sons' business!". He's obviously proud. LOL.
To see how much joy that simple pen brings him is incredible.
We took that picture together just a few hours ago and if you look closely at him you'll notice a smile. That might be the biggest smile he's ever had in his life in a picture with Nick and me.
He's 83 years old. No medication. Walks 5km a day. Complains about random things like any slightly grumpy 83-year-old will, LOL!
And I want to let you in on a little secret.
When we started this business Nick and I didn't have enough liquid cash to really give it a go. Early on we needed about $40K to start. $30K for some marketing stuff and about $10K for two laptops and new phones.
We didn't have the liquid cash to start Rock Star but somehow, out of nowhere, our father funded that $40K for us.
That $40K changed my life.
It changed Nick's life too.
That money was a heck of A LOT of money for our father. This was no easy thing for him to do. But he did it without hesitation.
Our Mom, to be clear, has supported us in similar ways over the years (Mom, we'll share more about your incredible influence on us in a future email!!)
(Quick Aside: We burned through that $40K instantly and managed to get a credit line on a property that gave us access to another $80K that we also used up pretty quickly. So we were diving into debt at a good rate at the beginning.)
Today, on our drive together, our father told me that he thought I was crazy to quit my "good job" to start Rock Star but he would never have tried to stop me.
He began reminiscing about Nick buying his first "flip" in his early 20s and how he went to help Nick with the drywall and taping and slipped and fell and almost broke a rib.
Our father would have been almost 60 years old at this point.
Our dad has a grade-school education, declared refugee status in Austria after climbing over a small mountain range to escape communism, was thrown out of Austria but luckily the church paid $50 for a boat ticket in Germany that would take him to Canada.
In Canada he hated the food, couldn't speak the language, hated the weather, hated working at meat processing plant lifting animal skins off the floor all day and would have went back home but he didn't have enough money to get back.
And years later here he was giving his two sons a big chunk of cash to help them with their dreams.
Who knew that the main funding source for Rock Star would be a Croatian refugee who found a new life in Canada?
So today, I'm reminded that the miracles we all need in our lives are often standing right next to us...you just never know when or how they're going to perform their magic on you.
It's easy to get caught up in life, caught up in "global macro economics", caught up with interest rates and property prices and "the fundamentals", and banking and lawyers and development opportunities and whatever else is in front of your face.
It's difficult to slow down and look around and appreciate your life for what it is right now.
But you should, we should, everyone should.
And when you do you realize there are miracles around you every day.
For example, check this out...
Over the last few weeks we're had the opportunity to chat in-person with several people who have been following us via this email for 10+ years.
We had never spoken until recently...and after chatting for just a short time it felt like we had been friends for years.
Several of them explained that we've been a positive influence in their lives although we had never met! How ridiculously cool is that?
Via this little email we've been able to meet so many incredible people who have supported us and Rock Star for many years now.
Thousands and thousands of people have come through Rock Star now.
We've worked with some people for 15 years now and still going strong!
It's our own little miracle.
And it all started with our parents helping us out in ways that perhaps can never be repaid.
Anyway, thank you Mom, thank you Dad. We love you.
And thank you to everyone out there who has supported this little business and turned into a slightly larger little business. You have helped us make our dreams come true.
OK, next week we're back to serious things like real estate and interest rates, promise, LOL!!
We have some new Rock Star Minutes linked below and two new podcasts are out this week! Enjoy them everyone!!
Tom & Nick
p.s. A few people have been asking where to find us on "the socials". You can find myself and Nick on Twitter @tomkaradza and @Nick Karadza
p.p.s. Yes, our father does have all of his hair still and he makes fun of us for not having as much as he does all the time!!